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Early to Warm Hot-Spots

Ever drive down the road in late winter/early spring and notice how one side of the road had a lot less snow or ice than the other? If you are an early season angler, this should be a big clue to where to begin the search for many of your favorite species shortly after ice-out.

The road side with the less cold ground cover will invariable on the north side of the road; the side that is absorbing the warming rays of the spring sun for the longest periods of time during the day. This can often be a major clue to where to begin the search for species such as bass, pike, muskies and panfish (be aware some states have seasons for various species).

We know the north side of the lake will receive the most sunlight, but what are some other factors that will cause warmer water that will draw the baitfish, stimulate insect hatches, and draw the fish we seek? Areas that are partially sheltered from the colder water of the main lake also are favorite spots to check. Long extensive channel systems, shorter channels that are T or L-shaped and harbors, are my favorite places to check.

And make sure you go as far back into them as possible, as long as a little depth holds up Enough depth can be as little as 2-3 feet. Another plus to these spots is that they will usually have a softer bottom. Soft bottoms are dark, and dark absorbs heat. It also stimulates early season bug hatches, which attracts fish.

While the logic through the years has been don’t waste your time fishing mornings in early spring, there are exceptions. My basic rule of thumb to go out early or not, is the night temperatures prior to the morning. If the night lows don’t get below the water temperatures where I plan to fish, a good morning bite is possible.

If the night gets too cold, then a little time is needed for the shallows to warm up. The colder it gets at night the latter the bite will be. Sometimes the best action won’t be until 1-2 pm after a cold night. The fish should be packed in these areas. All you’ve got to do is catch them.

Oven Fried Perch Recipe

Ingredients 1 pound Perch fillets 2 tbsp. Parmesean cheese, grated 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs 1 tbsp. margarine, melted 1/4 cup milk 1/2 tsp. thyme Combine bread crumbs, parmesean cheese, and thyme. Dip fillets in milk, then dip and coat fish in bread crumb mixture. Lay fish in a single layer on greased shallow baking…Continue Reading

Pike Chowder Recipe

Ingredients 1-2 pounds pike flesh, bone in is fine 1/3 cup butter 1/3 cup all purpose flour 4 cups milk 2-3 cubes vegetable, fish, or chicken stock 1 finely diced carrot 1 finely diced stalk of celery 1 small to medium onion, diced 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced 1 minced clove of garlic 1/2…Continue Reading

Broiled Salmon with Herbed Lemon Butter Recipe

Ingredients 4 pcs. 6/8 oz. portions fresh salmon fillets (about 2#) 1/4 cup melted butter 2 T. lemon juice 2 T. chopped parsely 1/4 t. dill, rosemary or marjoram, crumbled 1/4 t. salt 1/8 t. coarsely ground pepper Directions Remove pinbones. Line broiled pan with foil and place the salmon fillets on the rack. Sprinkle…Continue Reading

Grilled Salmon in Teriyaki Recipe

Ingredients 2 lbs. salmon steaks, cut 1″ thick 1/2 cup white wine 1/4 cup canola, or vegetable oil 1/4 cup soy sauce 1 T. lemon juice 1 clove minced garlic 1/2 t. ginger powder Directions Preheat grill. Combine marinade ingredients, pour over steaks, and let sit for at least 10 minutes (up to 2 hours…Continue Reading

Easiest-Ever Baked Whitefish Recipe

Ingredients 1 1/2 lbs. fresh whitefish fillets Salt & Pepper 1/4 cup melted butter or margarine 2 T. lemon juice 1 T. stone ground Dijon mustard (optional) 12-15 Town House crackers, rolled to a medium-fine crumb Directions Preheat oven to 450°F. Cut fish into serving-size pieces. Rinse fish and pat dry. Sprinkle fish with lemon…Continue Reading

Whitefish Boil Recipe

Ingredients 4 lbs. whitefish steaks (about 12, 1 1/2″ thick pieces) 6-12 small onions, peeled (optional) 6-12 new potatoes, medium sized, a thin slice cut from each end, do not peel 1 cup salt Drawn butter, parsley, and fresh lemon wedges Directions Using an 8 quart stockpot (with an inner basket if you have one),…Continue Reading

Poached Salmon with Mustard Sauce Recipe

Ingredients 1 1/2 lbs. salmon fillet, cut in 4 pieces, skinned and deboned 2 T. nonfat plain yogurt or sour cream 1 T. mayonnaise 1 t. dijon-style mustard 1/2 t. minced or grated fresh ginger 1/4 t. honey or sugar Minced fresh chives or parsley (for garnish) Directions In a small bowl combine yogurt, mayonnaise,…Continue Reading

Broiled Whitefish

Ingredients 1 1/2 lbs. fresh whitefish fillets 2 T. lemon juice 1/2 – 3/4 T. Old Bay Seasoning (or more to taste) Dash of black pepper Directions Remove the pinbones from your fillets, leave the skin on. Cut into serving-size pieces. Cover broiled pan with aluminum foil. Place whitefish pieces on foil, sprinkle with lemon…Continue Reading

Fish Cakes with Chives

Ingredients 1 1/2 lbs. fresh whitefish fillet 1/2 t. salt 2 eggs 1 1/2 t. dijon mustard 1/4 cup fresh chives, chopped 5 T. vegetable oil 1/8 t. fresh ground pepper 1/4 cup half & half 1 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs Directions Preheat broiler. Place fish on foil lined baking sheet, brush with 1…Continue Reading